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Emanuel: Rauner "His Own Worst Enemy" In Tackling State's Problems

CHICAGO (CBS) -- With their longtime friendship having grown increasingly fractured, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday said Gov. Bruce Rauner should put as much effort into solving problems as he does attacking his political rivals.

Two days after the governor called the mayor a failure on many important issues in Chicago, the mayor spoke to reporters for the first time since returning from a trip to Washington, D.C., for a national mayors' conference.

On Wednesday, the governor went on a tirade against the mayor as he proposed giving the Illinois State Board of Education the authority to take over the Chicago Public Schools.

"He's failed on public safety, he's failed on schools, he's failed on jobs in the neighborhoods, he's failed on taxes, he's failed on reforms, and I'm tired of it," Rauner said.

Emanuel said the governor needs to stop pointing fingers, and get work done.

"I wish he had as much energy in challenging the problems that face the state as he does use in challenging people and calling them names," he said. "You can call me names all you want, and you can attack me, but attack the problems of Illinois, which I think would be a better idea."


The mayor said, while there are problems at the Chicago Public Schools, those challenges have been part of the system since long before he was elected. He also blamed the district's financial problems in part on a lack of state funding for pensions for Chicago teachers.

"The state of Illinois pays the pension payment for every teacher but Chicago teachers. It creates a huge disparity," he said.

Emanuel said Rauner is too often counterproductive when when trying to take on major issues, such as the state's massive pension debt, by attacking people who disagree with him, rather than working with them to reach an agreement.

The mayor was referring to Rauner's announcement Thursday that he had agreed to a pension reform deal with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). During his event, but he repeatedly attacked Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, calling him "unreasonable [and] irresponsible as a leader." Shortly after Rauner's announcement, Cullerton refuted Rauner's claim, and said the deal Rauner announced was not the one they had discussed.

"The governor can be his own worst enemy, and can't seem to get out of his own way, as yesterday showed," Emanuel said. "I think yesterday illustrated that when it comes to trying to build the relationships, the trust to work on a serious issue — and I compliment him for trying to take the issue on — he has become and becomes his own worst enemy and can't get out of his own way."

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